AMA guidelines on use of mHealth Apps
Dr K K Aggarwal, National President IMA
The American Medical Association (AMA) has approved a list of principles to guide coverage and payment policies supporting the use of mobile health (mHealth) apps and associated devices that are accurate, effective, safe and secure in order to foster the integration of digital health innovations into clinical practice. The AMA supports the use of mHealth apps and associated devices, trackers and sensors by patients, physicians and others that:
· Support the establishment or continuation of a valid patient-physician relationship;
· Have a clinical evidence base to support their use in order to ensure mHealth app safety and effectiveness;
· Follow evidence-based practice guidelines, to the degree they are available, to ensure patient safety, quality of care and positive health outcomes;
· Support care delivery that is patient-centered, promotes care coordination and facilitates team-based communication;
· Support data portability and interoperability in order to promote care coordination through medical home and accountable care models;
· Abide by state licensure laws and state medical practice laws and requirements in the state in which the patient receives services facilitated by the app;
· Require that physicians and other health practitioners delivering services through the app be licensed in the state where the patient receives services, or be providing these services as otherwise authorized by that state’s medical board; and
· Ensure that the delivery of any services via the app be consistent with state scope of practice laws.
The new AMA policy encourages physicians and the mobile app industry to promote patient awareness of the varying levels data privacy and security afforded by mHealth apps. AMA also suggests that physicians should consult with qualified legal counsel if they are unsure of whether mHealth apps meet standards required by federal or state privacy and security laws.
(Source: AMA Press release, November 16, 2016)